NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bri - myfoxcarolinas.com

Bratton: 'not happy'

NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

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Two American flags were replaced by mysterious white flags at the Brooklyn Bridge. July 22, 2014 (MyFoxNY) Two American flags were replaced by mysterious white flags at the Brooklyn Bridge. July 22, 2014 (MyFoxNY)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. 

Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 

Two white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. The flags had a faint appearance of the stars and stripes. The American flags that are normally up at the bridge appeared to have been removed.

Police said that security camera footage showed several people walking on the pedestrian path at about 3:20 a.m. and then the light on the Brooklyn-side tower going out about 20 minutes later. About 12 minutes after that, the light on the Manhattan tower goes out, too, police said.

Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller said aluminum foil sheets covered the lights.

Miller said the NYPD does not believe the suspect's motive was connected to terrorism.

"They might have experience climbing, in construction or in bridgework," Miller said. "Or that they may have actually been up there before, looking at the dimensions. We have a number of investigative steps we're going to go through."

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said whatever the motive behind the incident, he is concerned.

"I am not particularly happy about the event and have charged Commissioner Miller to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances," Bratton said. "Again, we are requesting the help of the public on this issue."

Construction workers first spotted the white flags and notified authorities. Cops took down the flags at about noon.

"If flying a white flag atop the Brooklyn Bridge is someone's idea of a joke, I'm not laughing," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a retired police captain. "The public safety of our city is of paramount importance, particularly our landmarks and bridges that are already known to be high-risk targets. We will not surrender our public safety to anyone, at any time. Political and social expression, whatever its message may be, has a place in our society, but not at the expense of others' security."

Adams is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible. The money was provided by a private donor, said Adams.

Several officers scaled the bridge and lowered one of the whitewashed flags at about 11 a.m. and the second about 20 minutes later.

The NYPD keeps 24-hour surveillance of the span. It also maintains heightened security around all the city's bridges and critical infrastructure.

Police said an investigation into the white flags was underway.

The New York Post reported that replacement American flags were being delivered to the bridge.

"I am confident in the NYPD's ability to investigate this matter," Adams said.

With the AP

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